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How to Identify Scams and Fraud
RiverWind Bank has reported a significant increase in fraud and is currently on a mission to warn the public. Fraud and scams are very active in our area in several different forms, including lottery scams, fraudulent postal money orders, internet sale scams, bank employee impersonation and identity theft.
What is a Lottery Scam?
In a lottery scam, a consumer is sent a letter that claims that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes. They are told that taxes, handling fees or conversion fees on the winning must be paid by wiring a large sum of money to a location outside of the United States before they can receive their jackpot. In a variation of the scheme, a consumer receives a “certified” check in the mail for a large sum of money, which they deposit to their account. The “certified” check turns out to be counterfeit and is charged back to the victim’s account. Legitimate lotteries never ask for money. They don’t have to and there are not fees of any kind. The only tax you pay is paid directly to the government.
Fraudulent United State Money Orders
Another common scam is fraudulent United State Postal Money Orders. In many cases, victims are often contacted by an email message or in an online chat room and are deceived into accepting them as payment for items they are selling or into cashing the money orders in “return” for a fee. Postal officials say that the best way to identify a genuine postal money order is to look for the watermark, which, when held up to a light will reveal a repeating image of Benjamin Franklin. Genuine postal money orders also have a security strip running alongside the watermark, just to the right. If held to a light, a micro fiber strip will show the letters “USPS” along its length. If there is any doubt on the validity of a money order, visit your local post office or call 866-459-7822.
Internet Sale Scams
An internet sale scam is a scam in which a legitimate consumer advertises an item for sale on the internet and a buyer offers the consumer’s asking price. They are told that a check will be sent in advance to pay for the item. When the check is received it is for more than the agreed upon sale price. The consumer contacts the buyer who states that the bank made a mistake and askes for the consumer to send back the difference via a wire transfer. Then the money is sent back, the bank check comes back as fraud, and the full amount is deducted from the consumer’s bank account. The consumer is left with a large negative account balance and the buyer cannot be located.
Bank Employee Impersonation
Bank employee impersonation is when a consumer receives a telephone call of email from someone claiming to be a bank employee with a request to provide account information for verification purposes. The consumer later discovers that funds are missing from their bank account. There is no reason for your bank to contact you and request your account number or social security number because they already have this information. You should call or visit your financial institution to determine the legitimacy of the request before giving out ANY information.
Identity Theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. While you cannot control whether you will become a victim, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.
Security and Identity Theft Tips
The Federal Trade commission recommends the following steps:
What to do if you are a Victim of Identity Theft
Take steps quickly if you have lost personal information or identification, or if it has been stolen.
Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348-5069
475 Anton Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
TransUnion Fraud Victim
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Credit Bureau Online Filing Sites for Fraud Alert:
Other sites or contacts to file Fraud Alerts:
Federal Trade Commission
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
Social Security Administration
Phone: 800-269-0271 or 800-772-1213
Checks: To report the fraudulent use of your checks:
Phone: 800 552-1900
NPC Security Alerts
Phone: 800 710-9898
Access these websites for additional information about how to protect yourself from identity theft or obtain assistance if you have been a victim.
Federal Trade Commission National Resource on Identity Theft which is a one-stop resource for information about identity theft. http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft
Identity Theft Resource Center which is a non-profit organization helping people recover from identity theft. http://www.idtheftcenter.org
Free Annual Credit Report http://www.annualcreditreport.com
Computer Security Tips
If you believe you are a victim of fraud or have been the recipient of suspicious communication contact RiverWind Bank Monday thru Friday need to be changed to 9:00 am to 4:00 pm CST at 870-347-2511 or email@example.com ATM/Debit Card Security Tips
Contact RiverWind Bank immediately:
Regulation E and Accounts with Internet Access
What is Regulation E?
Regulation E protects individual customers using electronic funds transfers (EFT). Non-consumer accounts are not protected by Regulation E.
What is an EFT?
An EFT is any transfer of funds that is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer, or magnetic tape for the purpose of ordering, instructing or authorizing a financial institution to debit or credit a consumer’s account. The term includes but is not limited to:
Regulation E is a consumer protection law for accounts such as checking or savings, established primarily for personal, family or household purposes. Non-consumer accounts, such as Corporation, Trust, Partnerships, LLCs, etc. are excluded from coverage. Regulation E provides consumers a means to notify their financial institution that an EFT has been made to their account without their permission. If you are unsure if your account is protected by Regulation E contact us.
What protections are provided to consumers under Regulation E for consumers who use Online Banking and/or Bill Pay?
If you believe an unauthorized EFT has been made to your account, contact us immediately. If you notify us within two business days after you learn of the unauthorized transaction the most you can lose is $50. Failure to notify the bank within two business days may result in losses up to $500.
No liability limit: Unlimited loss to a consumer can occur if:
How does Regulation E apply to a non-consumer using Online Banking and/or Bill Pay?
A non-consumer using Online Banking and/or Bill Pay is not protected under Regulation E. Because the customer is not protected by Regulation E special consideration should be made by the customer to review the controls in place to ensure that they are commensurate of the risk level that the customer is willing to accept.
What precautions should a non-consumer take because they are not protected by Regulation E? As a non-consumer customer you should perform a risk assessment and periodically evaluate the controls you have in place. The risk assessment should be used to determine the risk level associated with any internet activities you perform and any controls in place to mitigate these risks.
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